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Time to Update Business Cards?

Every time I run low on business cards, I get in a dither about it. I used to get them from Vistaprint using one of their designs. The online services like Vistaprint and 123print are great. But, when you buy from them, you don’t actually own your design. You can buy their products, but you cannot use their design to print products elsewhere.

Last time I ordered business cards, I was in the process of re-designing my website. I asked a local designer help me with photos and graphics. Kate Smith Dugger is a photographer, but she also does graphic design. She brought her traveling photo studio to my home and took several head shots. She designed my business card and the header for my website. The business card scan at left is a bit fuzzy, and I blurred my phone number at the recommendation of a cyber-expert. Check out how well the business card coordinates with the site header.

So, now it’s time to order more cards, and I’m wondering if I should have another photo done. I don’t want to be like advice columnist Ann Landers who used the same photo in her column for years and years. This photo was taken in 2013…..

What goes on the card:

  • Name and/or business name
  • Tag line, a few words stating what you do.
  • Photo? Whether you need a photo depends on how you use the card. It’s easier for people who don’t know you well to remember you if give them a photo card. Dealing with people who already know you, a photo is not so important. Since I use mine primarily at conferences, I use a photo.
  • Contact information: Most people give phone, e-mail address, mailing address and website URL. I include my cell phone number, website URL, and e-mail address only. Most people don’t need my street address. If they need to mail me something, they can contact me by phone or e-mail.

Where to get cards printed:

  • I have used online services like Vistaprint or 123Print. Remember, they own their design, even after you’ve personalized it.
  • Don’t forget ocal printing services or office supply stores. The design is usually part of the printing cost. Some designers may sell you the just the design. Get the Publisher file or PDF, then order printing services from anywhere. If you upload your own design to Vistaprint, you will still own the design.

Readers, do you have a business card. Is it time for you to get a new one designed? Share your experiences with business cards in the comments. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

6 Responses to Time to Update Business Cards?

  1. Terry Whalin June 17, 2017 at 8:44 am #


    Great looking new business card. Well-done. Also thanks for this article about this important tool. I often exchange business cards with writers at conferences and other events. It is important to have information on your card. To my surprise, often I find cards which are missing details like a phone number or website address or twitter name. I’ve had a lot of business cards over the years and continually modify and improve my cards.

    I’ve gotten my cards from many different places but these days I use my friends at Epic Print Solutions: They do great, quick work and are affordable. Hope this helps some of your readers.


  2. Cecelia L. Lester June 17, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Emily; Thankyou for this information. I am in the process of getting a book published and have tried to re-make my own business cards. I have not had much response in the past when I hand a person one of my cards. Am I doing something wrong?

  3. Emily Akin June 17, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks for suggesting another vendor, Terry. I’ll call attention to your comment when I post on social media.

  4. Emily Akin June 17, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    I doubt of you did anything wrong. You need the business card in case someone asks for it, or if you need someone to have your contact information. I haven’t had anyone contact me to offer my a writing job from a business card distribution. But, the more your name is out there, the better it is for you.

  5. Tracy Crump June 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    I would keep the same photo, Emily. It’s a great one, and you still look the same. (I’m beginning to think you’ll never age.)

  6. Emily Akin June 19, 2017 at 7:48 am #

    Thanks, Tracy. Not looking your age has some drawbacks. People think I’m younger than I am so they expect more! I thought I should get a new photo because I have stopped highlighting my hair and have different glasses.

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